(b. Kiruna, Sweden) received her BFA from SUNY Potsdam, magna cum laude, in Painting and a BA in Social Science from Lund University, Sweden. Recipient of several grants, awards, and residencies, her work has been exhibited in the US and abroad. She has been awarded a Public Art Fellowship from New York State Council on the Arts, among others. Most recent exhibits include; En Vacker Utstallning, Konstmuseet i Norr, Kiruna, Sweden; The Immigrant Artist Biennial 2020; Here Together!, NYC, NY; New Folk: Hudson Valley Artists 2020; Dorsky Museum, New Paltz, NY; The 2020 National Prize Show, Cambridge, MA. Her work is represented by Amos Eno Gallery, Brooklyn, NY. Boden lives and works in New York’s Hudson Valley.
Ceramics transforms the malleable into permanence, a process that echoes life. We begin as a mere potential ending up reflecting what we see. My sculptures similarly reflect this process.
I frequently use stacking as a method of spatial organizing. My stacks run anywhere between twelve and forty inches tall and are richly textured, wheel-thrown, and hand-built forms. By using minerals unique to my hometown such as oxides and mica, along with the soft hues of winter pastels, and the vibrant colors of the polar night – references to the arctic circle where I grew up — my work alludes to the natural world and domestic interiors. Each segment is lightly secured, though I also leave forms unattached to articulate precarious balance.
My sculptures take some time to achieve a finished state. Multiple firings are not unusual, since I like to experiment with surface techniques, and it can take months to find the right piece for a sculpture. Some of the forms contain broken and unrecognizable parts, in reference to how memories diminish over time. I believe we must love the things that we carry with us, even if they break in transit.
Bachelor of Fine Arts, visual arts, magna cum laude, 2006, SUNY Potsdam, NY
Bachelor of Arts, social science, 1987, Lund University, Sweden
SELECTED SOLO & TWO-PERSON EXHIBITIONS
2021 Irja Bodén: New Works, Amos Eno Gallery, Brooklyn, NY (upcoming)
2017 Interwoven, Two-Person Show, Roxbury Arts Group: Walt Meade Gallery, Roxbury, NY
2016 Irja Bodén: Horse Virtues, Pleiades Gallery, New York City, NY
SELECTED GROUP EXHIBITIONS
2020 The Immigrant Artist Biennial, ”The Imminent Arrival", New York Curator: Katya Grokhovsky
2020 New Folk: Hudson Valley Artists 2020, Dorsky Museum, SUNY New Paltz, NY Curator: Anna Conlan
2020 The 2020 National Prize Show, Cambridge Art Assoc: University Place Gallery, MA Juror: Sharon Butler
2020 The Longest Distance, Three-person show, Amos Eno Gallery, Brooklyn, NY
2019 En Vacker Utställning, Konstmuseet i Norr, Kiruna, Sweden
2019 Small Works Show, Five Points Gallery, Torrington, CT
2018 Land and Sea, Main Street Arts Gallery, Clifton Springs, NY
2018 Contemporary Landscape, Roxbury Art Group: Walter Mead Gallery, Roxbury, NY
2017 Northeast Ceramic Sculpture Exhibition, Art Centro, Poughkeepsie, NY Juror: Elenor Wilson
AWARDS - GRANTS - RESIDENCY
2020 The Immigrant Artist Biennial Award
2018, 2017 Artist’s Grant and Residency, Vermont Studio Center, Johnson, VT
2017 Public Art Fellowship, New York State Council of the Arts, NY
2017 Award, Northeast Ceramic Sculpture Exhibit, Poughkeepsie, NY
2000, 2003, 2007 Special Opportunity Stipend (SOS), NYS Foundation for the Arts, NY
2020 The Immigrant Artist Biennial, Catalogue
2020 Ever.Emerging Magazine. 13 women, 45-100 years old. First issue. Online publication.